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Benihana
07-07-2009, 06:23 PM
Sure we still have a week to go before the actual All-Star Game, but the big league team has been too depressing the last couple days to put this off any longer…

As always, GRADE A indicates a player has a chance to be an all-star at the major league level, GRADE B indicates a player should be a starter at the major league level, and GRADE C indicates that a player has a decent shot to contribute in some form at the major league level. For those of you who like to follow Top 100 Prospect Lists, you can think of it this way: Grade A = 1-25 prospect in all of baseball; Grade B = should make Top 100 list; Grade C = Not on the Top 100 radar yet, but could be one day. Also as always, I do not like to rank guys who have yet to play at a full season level (A ball or above.) Mike Leake will be an exception to that rule, as most people believe he should be in Cincinnati by 2011. Finally, I do not rank anyone 25 or over. Without further ado...

GRADE A

1. Yonder Alonso 1B AA Setback by a broken hammate bone. Should finish the year in Carolina once he returns, and look to start in Louisville in 2010.
(tie). Zack Stewart RHP AA Will pitch out of the pen in Louisville for the remainder of the year. Should be a fixture in Cincinnati one way or the other (rotation or pen) by this time next year.

GRADE B

3. Todd Frazier 3B/LF AA Should be playing 3B in Louisville. All he does is rake.
4. Chris Heisey CF AAA Arrived in Louisville and has continued to hit. Playing alongside Stubbs, it will be interesting to watch them face the same pitching.
5. Drew Stubbs CF AAA Looks to be breaking out of his prolonged slump. Should get a September call-up.
6. Mike Leake* RHP Didn’t fall as much as others keep rising, despite poor showing in CWS. May not pitch again this season due to tendonitis/signing concerns.

GRADE C

7. Neftali Soto 3B A+ Don't forget about him- he could be the best hitter in the system after Alonso. Very young for his level. Could easily move up to Grade B with a strong 2nd half.
8. Zack Cozart SS AA Has looked great so far this year, could be another fast riser. His glove is ML-ready and he's hitting well in Carolina, look for a promotion to AAA sometime before the end of the summer. With Valaika out of the way, he appears to be the lone internal candidate to man SS in Cincy for the next few years. Also could be Grade B by end of the year.
9. Travis Wood LHP AA Been the best pitcher in the system this year after Stewart, you could make the argument for him being higher. Should be promoted any day now, not sure why it hasn’t happened yet (other than his age.)
10. Juan Carlos Sulbaran RHP A+ Doing well for a 19 year old in Dayton, has great stuff, but as expected has been very inconsistent (see Sunday’s outing for an example.)
11. Juan Francisco 3B AA Ranked here because still hasn't shown the plate discipline everyone's been hoping for. However power is there and defense is respectable at 3B.
12. Chris Valaika 2B/SS/3B AAA His value has dropped after Sweet’s comments seem to indicate he won’t be a regular SS in the major leagues.
13. Matt Fairel LHP A Has had some absolutely dominant outings. Probably belongs in Sarasota.
14. Kevin Coddington C A Newcomer to the list has looked better offensively and defensively than Mesoraco, despite being at a lower level. Could potentially be another Hanigan-type find.
15. Devin Mesoraco C A+ Ranked here based on pedigree alone. His numbers are poor in Sarasota although his peripherals and defense are improving. However, if he doesn’t start showing considerable improvement, he will probably fall off this list in the near future. Should repeat Sarasota next year.

OTHERS TO WATCH
Miguel Rojas SS A
Alex Buchholz 2B/SS A+
Brad Boxberger* RHP
Josh Ravin RHP A
Jeremy Horst LHP A+
Alex Smit LHP AA


KEEP AN EYE ON (too early to tell)
Billy Hamilton SS R
Yorman Rodriguez CF R
Juan Duran OF R
Shea Snowden LHP R
Junior Arias SS DSL
Humberto Valor SS VSL

DON’T FORGET ABOUT (too old for prospect status)
Matt Maloney LHP
Sam LeCure RHP
Ramon Ramirez RHP
Pedro Viola LHP
James Avery RHP
Danny Dorn 1B/LF

INJURED (done for the season)
Daryl Thompson RHP AAA
Bill Bray LHP AAA
Dallas Buck RHP AA
Kyle Lotzkar RHP A
Evan Hildenbrandt R
Ismael Guillon LHP R

PROMOTIONS ON THE HORIZON (in order of neccessity)
Frazier to AAA (and move back to 3B)
Wood to AAA
Fairel to A+
Cozart to AAA

SEPTEMBER CALL-UPS
Stubbs
Valaika
Dorn
Maloney
LeCure
Viola

* unsigned

Kingspoint
07-07-2009, 06:45 PM
So, a player who played 4 years of College, graduating at 22, only has 2-1/2 seasons to make this list, otherwise he's considered washed up?

Would love to see if any 25 year olds would be on this list.

Benihana
07-07-2009, 07:03 PM
So, a player who played 4 years of College, graduating at 22, only has 2-1/2 seasons to make this list, otherwise he's considered washed up?

Would love to see if any 25 year olds would be on this list.

Not washed up, but they should certainly be knocking on the door to the majors by the time they're 25. Otherwise, they're not really a "prospect" anymore- at least by my definition anyway.

Maloney and Viola might crack the bottom of this list (13-15 range), bur that's about it.

GOYA
07-07-2009, 07:07 PM
Dorn is 24. So is Stubbs.

Scrap Irony
07-07-2009, 07:10 PM
And Dorn? After a horrid April and May, he's been awesome over the past six weeks. Lifetime .513 slugging percentage. Plus he's still 24.

Kingspoint
07-07-2009, 07:41 PM
Your title says Top Prospects, so why have a Tier C indicates that a player has a decent shot to contribute in some form at the major league level?

July of 2005 would have been Hanigan's last chance to be on this list, but a good percentage of people will argue that he should be the starting Catcher for the REDS right now. Dickerson's last year would have been July of 2006, and probably a majority of people would argue that he should be the starting CenterFielder for the REDS right now. That would put both of these players at Level B.

There's also a big gap where a player, like a Dickerson or a Hanigan, will be a starter at the Major League level for only a year or two, and there's those who will be a starter at the Major League level for 7, 8, 9, 10 years, and never make an All-Star team. If you made that your level B, then Dickerson and Hanigan would be level C players, contributing somewhere at the Major League level, possibly starting for a year or two.

Nice post, though Benihana. Well thought out and fun to read.

Benihana
07-07-2009, 09:09 PM
Dorn is 24. So is Stubbs.


And Dorn? After a horrid April and May, he's been awesome over the past six weeks. Lifetime .513 slugging percentage. Plus he's still 24.

My fault- Dorn's age was an oversight.

As for the list, however, I have said many times that Dorn IMO projects to a left-handed bat off the bench. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but he would not crack the Top 12 on my list. Like Maloney and Viola, he might fall into the 13-15 range. While he can certainly tee off against RHP, his defense is poor and he cannot hit left-handers.

BuckeyeRedleg
07-07-2009, 09:12 PM
Dorn will be 25 in two weeks.

Nice list, B.

SMcGavin
07-07-2009, 10:03 PM
Stubbs and Heisey will both be 25 next season. If they are in AAA, should they be left off of prospect lists?

Benihana
07-07-2009, 10:55 PM
Stubbs and Heisey will both be 25 next season. If they are in AAA, should they be left off of prospect lists?

They won't be in AAA next year, and that's kinda the point.

dougdirt
07-08-2009, 01:34 AM
They won't be in AAA next year, and that's kinda the point.

I have a good feeling at least one of them will be.

Patrick Bateman
07-08-2009, 03:34 AM
Have to say Beni, been agreeing more with your lists lately. Appreciate the write-up, nice job (and not just because I like the rankings!)

icehole3
07-08-2009, 04:13 AM
Wiley keeps going yard, he'll be promoted

bucksfan2
07-08-2009, 09:07 AM
A
Alonso - Hasn't disappointed except for his injury.

A-
Stewart - Has been great. Want to see how he handles being a starter next season.
Cozart - Janish with a bat would be a huge addition to this team. May be the most intriguing prospect in the Reds system.

B
Frazier - Questions about his position land him down here. Hopefully he is the answer at 3b.
Stubbs - Keeps on doing what he is supposed to do. If he develops HR power look out.
Heisey - Interested to see how he progresses along side Stubbs. Can his bat play LF?
Wood - Been dominant this year. Should be promoted to AAA soon.

B-
Soto - Has hit everywhere. Not too worried about a poor start in pitchers paradise.

C
Sulbaran - Still too young to make a accurate judgement.
Francisco - If he learns plate discipline watch out.
Valaika - Never underestimate the value of having good platoon players.
Fairel -Has had some absolutely dominant outings. Probably belongs in Sarasota.
Mesoraco - Based upon pedigree only. First round draft pick who is a HS C should be given plenty of time. Still not ready to make a decision on him.
Leake - Will be down here until he signs and throws a handful of professional pitches.


DON’T FORGET ABOUT
Maloney - Spot starter/trade bait. Has some value, maybe not as much pitching in GABP but can hold his own.
LeCure - Sinker ball pitcher and GABP go very nice together.
Ramirez - Never underestimate the value of competent spot starting pitching
Viola - No need to rush with Danny Ray and Rhodes.

*edit*
There are plenty of guys who are too young to fairly judge. Three that come to mind are Hamilton, Duran, and Rodriguez. I don't expect either of those guys to crack the list until this time next season. If they do they will be group A+ type players.

Benihana
07-08-2009, 09:27 AM
Thanks guys.

After more consideration, I may push the age limit back up to 25 for next time. However, I am strong in my belief that there should be an age cap, despite the fact that some prospects may have a longer time line (eg Dickerson/Hanigan.) My response to guys like that is that they weren't really "prospects" in the traditional sense to begin with.

On the other hand, Stubbs and Heisey are obviously prospects. If either one is still toiling in the minors in 2011 (which would make them 26), I will no longer consider them to be "Top Prospects." Hence the age limit.

Most high schoolers get drafted when they are 18, giving them seven full seasons to make the majors before they begin losing some of their prospect luster. Most college players get drafted at age 21, giving them 4-5 years. While some players will surely take longer to develop, I think that's a fair time frame to give someone before you start questioning whether or not they still deserve "Top Prospect" status. Obviously, a guy like Humberto Valor will have nine years worth of mention- we'll surely be sick of hearing his name by then, at least in this forum. ;)

Kc61
07-08-2009, 10:51 AM
This year, it was clear that the Reds had several relievers ready to help in the big leagues.

In 2011, a number of the listed guys should be ready to help.

Next year, however, 2010, I'm not sure the Reds have much in the minors to help the big club. Maybe one of Stubbs/Heisey. Maybe if one of the AA guys blossom very quickly at AAA -- perhaps Stewart or Frazier or even Alonso. But mostly these guys seem on a 2011 track.

bucksfan2
07-08-2009, 11:18 AM
This year, it was clear that the Reds had several relievers ready to help in the big leagues.

In 2011, a number of the listed guys should be ready to help.

Next year, however, 2010, I'm not sure the Reds have much in the minors to help the big club. Maybe one of Stubbs/Heisey. Maybe if one of the AA guys blossom very quickly at AAA -- perhaps Stewart or Frazier or even Alonso. But mostly these guys seem on a 2011 track.

IMO here are a list of players I see making their big league debut in 2010 baring injury.
Stubbs
Heisey
Alonso
Frazier
Valakia
Cozart

I don't see Stewart or Wood doing anything except for a late season call up.

Scrap Irony
07-08-2009, 11:24 AM
Stewart should be ready halfway through the year. So, too, Frazier (at the latest), wherever he may play. Both Heisey and Stubbs should be ready, as should Dorn, Valaika, Sutton, Viola, and possibly Rosales. And, while most (all?) won't be stars, some (Hesey/Stubbs, Frazier, perhaps Valaika and Dorn) will start and all should help with depth at the least.

In short, that's a lot of depth.

Behind them, in 2011, Wood, Alonso, Francisco, and perhaps Horst should be ready, assuming none are dealt. There's also more depth available at that level, in Cumberland and Henry.

The Cincinnati pipeline is pretty stacked at this point, with solid depth. There aren't any stars, but there's enough stuff to help out the main club, certainly, at least over the next few years.

Kc61
07-08-2009, 11:26 AM
I think these views on 2010 are optimistic. Yes, if injuries occur there could be some callups as fill-ins, but other than the two centerfielders I don't see any likely significant 2010 contributions.

September of 2010 I see a number of arrivals, some of whom could help in 2011.

Benihana
07-08-2009, 11:36 AM
This year, it was clear that the Reds had several relievers ready to help in the big leagues.

In 2011, a number of the listed guys should be ready to help.

Next year, however, 2010, I'm not sure the Reds have much in the minors to help the big club. Maybe one of Stubbs/Heisey. Maybe if one of the AA guys blossom very quickly at AAA -- perhaps Stewart or Frazier or even Alonso. But mostly these guys seem on a 2011 track.

Mostly agree.

However, there are several guys who could easily stick next year and contribute in the bigs, in the following order of likelihood:

(I should have included the ETA for each player on my initial list, something I have done in the past)

READY TO CONTRIBUTE OPENING DAY 2010

Drew Stubbs/Chris Heisey- Enough has been said about these guys, but one of them should be at least platooning with Dickerson if not starting everyday in CF beginning on Opening Day. Obviously what happens with Willy T remains to be seen.

Chris Valaika/Drew Sutton- Sutton already debuted last month, but at least one of these guys if not both should be the utilityman on the big club. You could add Adam Rosales to this category as well.

Pedro Viola/Bill Bray- Much like Roenicke and Fisher this year, both of these guys will be ready to step in and provide yet another lefty arm out of the pen should Herrera stumble or Rhodes be injured/traded, and should be ready to do so on Opening Day.

Danny Dorn- Assuming he continues to mash in Louisville, the Reds could probably afford to let Nix leave and let Dorn be the go-to left-handed bat off the bench for 2010.

Matt Maloney/Sam LeCure/Ramon Ramirez- While I expect at least one of these guys to be moved before next season in order to make room in Louisville for Stewart, Wood, and Smith/Avery, the one(s) that remain will be ready to handle spot starting duties all season long should the big club require it. They are even ready to do so right now.

SOME CONTRIBUTION IN 2010

Todd Frazier- I honestly believe he should be playing everyday next year, either at 3B or LF. He may not start Opening Day, but should be up contributing on a regular basis by mid-summer. ETA: April-June 2010

Zack Cozart- His glove is ready now, and his stick has been impressive this year in Carolina. He should get a taste of Louisville before the end of this season, and with a very strong ST could be in the mix for a roster spot (and potentially the starting SS job next season.) More likely, however, he'll begin 2010 in Louisville but should get plenty of reps in the big leagues by midseason, especially if the Reds don't acquire a SS this offseason. ETA: June 2010

Zach Stewart- While he will certainly begin the year in Louisville (presumably in the rotation), I wouldn't be shocked to see him take on a bullpen/swingman role for the big club by the All-Star Break. Much like he did this year with starting in AA then relieving in AAA, he could do the same next year starting in AAA then relieving in the bigs. If ever there was a pitcher to be eased into the bigs via the bullpen, Stewart is the guy. ETA: July 2010

Yonder Alonso- I am more conservative than most when it comes to Alonso. I'd like to see him finish 2009 in Carolina once he returns from injury, and barring a sensational ST and a volunteer from Votto to move to LF (quite unlikely), I'd like to see him spend at least a half season in Louisville next year before making his debut. ETA: Late summer 2010

redsmetz
07-08-2009, 02:24 PM
Yonder Alonso- I am more conservative than most when it comes to Alonso. I'd like to see him finish 2009 in Carolina once he returns from injury, and barring a sensational ST and a volunteer from Votto to move to LF (quite unlikely), I'd like to see him spend at least a half season in Louisville next year before making his debut. ETA: Late summer 2010

This is a sentiment that I just don't understand. I don't see that in Votto's nature, on the one hand, and on the other hand, where is it written that he has any say anyway? But if Alonso's ready there, I can't imagine why Votto wouldn't be ready and willing to move out there. He wouldn't be the first to make a position move and I can't imagine that he'd make a fuss about it.

Benihana
07-08-2009, 02:53 PM
This is a sentiment that I just don't understand. I don't see that in Votto's nature, on the one hand, and on the other hand, where is it written that he has any say anyway? But if Alonso's ready there, I can't imagine why Votto wouldn't be ready and willing to move out there. He wouldn't be the first to make a position move and I can't imagine that he'd make a fuss about it.

Word is he's already expressed hesitation at such a move. I'm not saying he wouldn't do it, but that is the word. Generally, I don't think veterans who have proven themselves like moving positions for an unproven (and some would say spoiled) rookie. Realistically, Alonso could put up Votto-like numbers in a best-case scenario only. It's gotta be frustrating if you're JV to give up your beloved position for a greener guy that probably can't match your production (at least in the first couple years.)

But you're right, he doesn't have the choice. I wish the Reds would've persuaded/forced Dunn to play 1B years ago. The Reds could force Votto to LF if they so desired, but would you do that to a guy that's having the kind of year Votto is at age 26? Granted he's a 0-2 guy so he's under team control for a while, but would you want to risk alienating him before he's locked up to a long term deal?

Hopefully, he volunteers to make the move in the best interest of the franchise. That would be ideal, assuming Alonso continues to progress. It would also be another notch in his resume for future team captain.

But what if he doesn't? What if he resists? What do you do then?

Pony Boy
07-08-2009, 03:05 PM
I think that Votto has earned the right to stick at 1B if he doesnt want to transition to the LF. It would be bad form for the Reds to insist on him moving to make room for Alonso.

What if the Reds gave him extra cash without adding extra years to compensate him for moving to LF?

Benihana
07-08-2009, 03:14 PM
What if the Reds gave him extra cash without adding extra years to compensate him for moving to LF?

I don't neccessarily think extra cash without adding extra years would be the best move, but I do think there are a couple of interesting levers you might be able to pull in order to give him a little extra motivation to move (if he needs it):

1. Offer him the official Team Captain position. Sure it might tick off Phillips a little, but is there really a better candidate than Votto? If it provides an extra incentive for him to move to LF, why not offer it to him upfront? Might also help later in extension discussions...

OR

2. Start extension discussions for a HanRam/Longoria-type contract. The only thing I'd worry about when discussing such an extension for Votto would be his extended absence earlier this year, but I'm sure certain insurance policies would guard against such circumstances should they arise in the future.

When the time comes, hopefully he does the captain-esque thing and volunteers to move. However, if he needs a little extra convincing, these two might be interesting "motivating tools" to help usher Votto's move to LF, of course, if/when Alonso proves he's ready.

Meanwhile in addition to Votto volunteering to move, a lot of things could happen between now and then that would make all of this moot, such as:

1. They decide Frazier is a LF, and he flourishes in the position next year, making Alonso expendable.
2. Alonso does not progress as hoped, and he is not ready to take over 1B in 2011.
3. Alonso is traded to fill another need.
4. A "LF of the future" is brought in via trade (eg Matt Kemp, Michael Taylor, etc.)

GOYA
07-08-2009, 04:52 PM
I think that Votto has earned the right to stick at 1B if he doesnt want to transition to the LF. It would be bad form for the Reds to insist on him moving to make room for Alonso.

I don't believe any player can earn the right to have their own wishes come ahead of the team's best interest. But this is nothing that needs to be addressed now. Yonder isn't knocking on the door and won't be for a while.

osuceltic
07-08-2009, 05:23 PM
Alonso is destined to be traded. He's left-handed, he plays only one position--the one occupied by our best player--and he's on a major league contract. The writing is on the wall--the move of Frazier to LF being just further indication. Alonso is Matt LaPorta. I think we need to start wrapping our minds around this reality.

Farnsie
07-08-2009, 05:50 PM
Alonso is destined to be traded. He's left-handed, he plays only one position--the one occupied by our best player--and he's on a major league contract. The writing is on the wall--the move of Frazier to LF being just further indication. Alonso is Matt LaPorta. I think we need to start wrapping our minds around this reality.

Actually, because of what you just wrote (yeah, just that little piece) I've been thinking the same thing for the first time... Seeing to what we could/or at least should get in return for Yonder I'd be all for it if we could get something to help the club.

dougdirt
07-08-2009, 06:35 PM
Alonso is destined to be traded. He's left-handed, he plays only one position--the one occupied by our best player--and he's on a major league contract. The writing is on the wall--the move of Frazier to LF being just further indication. Alonso is Matt LaPorta. I think we need to start wrapping our minds around this reality.

He may be, but he may not be. The question is, if the Brewers weren't in the position as they were last year, is LaPorta still a Brewer? If the Reds aren't in contention next year are they going to trade Alonso?

Benihana
07-08-2009, 06:50 PM
He may be, but he may not be. The question is, if the Brewers weren't in the position as they were last year, is LaPorta still a Brewer? If the Reds aren't in contention next year are they going to trade Alonso?

The answer is, if they can trade him for a similar prospect at a position of need, probably yes.

dougdirt
07-08-2009, 06:51 PM
The answer is, if they can trade him for a similar prospect at a position of need, probably yes.

When was the last time two big prospects were traded for each other?

Benihana
07-08-2009, 06:53 PM
When was the last time two big prospects were traded for each other?

Matt Garza for Delmon Young?


Also, it obviously didn't happen, but a little before your time there was much discussion on this board of a Adam Dunn for Josh Beckett swap when both were mere prospects. Again, just discussion, but it certainly was interesting.

dougdirt
07-08-2009, 07:25 PM
Matt Garza for Delmon Young?


Also, it obviously didn't happen, but a little before your time there was much discussion on this board of a Adam Dunn for Josh Beckett swap when both were mere prospects. Again, just discussion, but it certainly was interesting.

Delmon Young had over 800 MLB PA when he was traded for Garza who had 133 MLB innings. Not quite prospects, much less ones who were traded before ever stepping foot on an MLB field.

Kingspoint
07-08-2009, 07:47 PM
Alonso is destined to be traded. He's left-handed, he plays only one position--the one occupied by our best player--and he's on a major league contract. The writing is on the wall--the move of Frazier to LF being just further indication.

If Alonzo is traded anytime during the next 3 years, I'll buy you pizza every month for a year.

It ain't gonna happen.

mth123
07-08-2009, 09:28 PM
Nice thread. My take:

A: Yonder Alonso - Will be a middle of the order run producer.

A- : Zach Stewart - Has a nice safety net in that he has shown the ability to pitch from the pen. He could be a starter for the top half of the rotation or possibly a closer. If he goes to the pen, he could make Cordero expendable sooner rather than later. That may be worth a ton of money to this franchise and could result in players returned for Cordero and money to spend in other areas. That may be more valuable than waiting until 2011 for him to be a starter.

B+: Chris Heisey - I love players with power who can play up the middle. I am against the Reds moving him to a corner. No need to squander the advantage of having an up the middle guy with a big bat. He has the defensive ability for center, he should play there. The Reds made the mistake with Dickerson and brought in a lesser player, now there is talk of making the same mistake with Heisey.

B+: Zach Cozart - Has the glove for SS and has shown some offensive potential. Position alone makes him valuable since he can actually play it.

B: Todd Frazier - Has enough bat to be an everyday player at any position he can handle. His versatility may work against him getting a regular role, but may make him more valuable. I happily go to war with a power bat that can play LF/3B/1B and, in a pinch, MI on the bench. Move him around and let him get 450 PAs.

B: Neftali Soto - Good hitter who swings too much. His defense and body beg questions as to whether he can stay at 3B.

B: Travis Wood - A big comeback in 2009. He still seems too little to me to be starter for the long haul, but he's doing good things and may be at peak value now.

B-: Drew Stubbs - Needs to develop some power to be a plus player. Can be a decent regular with his speed and defense but lack of power will erode his value and his OBP if pitchers don't have any fear of him. His first round status makes him above a C, mostly for trade value IMO.

B-: Chris Valaika - Can hit but has poor plate discipline. Won't be a SS and I still wonder if 2B would be a spot for him. Probably could be a supersub along the lines of how I described Frazier above, just a cut below. Definitely an asset to a team's bench.

B-: Jeremy Horst - Most under-rated pitcher in the organization right now. Call me shallow, but I'm more impressed with 6-4, 220 pound guy who has success than a guy below 6 feet.

B-: Jordan Smith - Another starter who could be in a major league rotation.

B-: Danny Dorn - Some smart team will let him be this generation's version of Matt Stairs. Probably won't be the Reds and I probably have too much value on him, because I doubt this organization cashes in.

B-: Juan Francisco - Power with K's and few walks. Has a thick body and has made many errors this year. May end up as Calvin Pickersing, I hope for more and hope his power gives him some trade value. I'm skeptical of him, but power is hard to find and the Reds could probably cash him in for something.

C+: Pedro Viola - Power lefties for the pen are hard to find and gather lots of interest. If his control improves he moves up to B/B+ range.

C+: Matt Fairel - Looks good, possibly should be higher. I'll wait and see.

C+: Juan Carlos Sulbarren - the homers scare the heck out of me. The fuss in the spring gives him some value.

C+: Maloney/Lecure/Ramirez - Near ready starters who provide depth and trade flexability. That's valuable.

C+: Fisher/Roenicke/Manuel/Ondrusek/Thurman - All guys who should be able to hold down roles in the middle of the pen. Fisher and Roenicke in particular have late inning potential.

C: David Sappelt - Could be an over-achiever and has done ok so far. I would need to see more to go any higher.

C-: Sean Henry - Could be a player who adds some speed, some power, and adequate defense at the end of a bench somewhere.

D: Devin Mesoraco - I'm not a believer.

Could Surprise - Logan Parker, Jake Kahaulelio, Justin Reed, Denis Phipps, Ben Jukich, Craig Tatum, Wes Bankston, James Avery. Sean Watson, Matt Klinker, Kevin Coddington, Miguel Rojas, Cody Puckett

Incomplete: Alex Bucholz, Mike Leake, Brad Boxberger, Byron Wiley, Josh Felhauer, Andrew Means, Jose Gauldron, Shane Carlson. Scott Carroll,

Too young to rate: Hamilton/Duran/Rodriguez/Guillon/Arias/Valor

???? - Kyle Lotzkar, Daryl Thompson, Dallas Buck

Benihana
07-08-2009, 09:35 PM
No Josh Ravin, mth?

dougdirt
07-08-2009, 09:41 PM
My take:
D: Devin Mesoraco - I'm not a believer.


Gotta ask why you aren't a believer? What do you see that makes you think he is at best the Reds 27th best prospect?

mth123
07-08-2009, 11:48 PM
Gotta ask why you aren't a believer? What do you see that makes you think he is at best the Reds 27th best prospect?

Can't play the position and he's not even a good minor leaguer if he has to play anywhere else.

mth123
07-09-2009, 12:01 AM
No Josh Ravin, mth?

Missed him. C+. Maybe straight C. For such a power pitcher he doesn't get enough Ks, but sure has the walks to go with them.

dougdirt
07-09-2009, 12:34 AM
Can't play the position and he's not even a good minor leaguer if he has to play anywhere else.

What suggests to you he can't play the position? He has been gunning runners out over the last two months like he is Pudge Rodriguez in his prime. His pitchers have also been saying good things about his improved ability to block and catch balls in the dirt this year as well.

As for his bat. He walks quite a bit. He doesn't strike out at a real high rate. He shows solid power for the league (.140 isoP for a kid who just turned 21 two weeks ago).

I guess I just see things drastically different than you on this one.

13 in hall
07-09-2009, 01:43 AM
My opinion which does not count for much is that Alonso stays and Joey moves to LF why? Because as we see the Reds will never put more that 80 million into payroll plain and simple if they can get a good young cheap run producing machine like I see Alonso becoming then they will hold onto him as long as they can and then flip him for a host of cheap prospects down the road. He will have far more value after playing four years in the bigs than just trading him as part of a package to acquire someone else. It just makes more sense and whatever you say about Jock he is not stupid. Sure he would trade him for a Mcgwire type of bat but there are none of those on the horizon. So he stays until he can no longer be affordable.

mth123
07-09-2009, 01:59 AM
My opinion which does not count for much is that Alonso stays and Joey moves to LF why? Because as we see the Reds will never put more that 80 million into payroll plain and simple if they can get a good young cheap run producing machine like I see Alonso becoming then they will hold onto him as long as they can and then flip him for a host of cheap prospects down the road. He will have far more value after playing four years in the bigs than just trading him as part of a package to acquire someone else. It just makes more sense and whatever you say about Jock he is not stupid. Sure he would trade him for a Mcgwire type of bat but there are none of those on the horizon. So he stays until he can no longer be affordable.

I agree Find room for impact bats. If Votto was built like Howard or Fielder it might be different, but he's young, fit and mobile. If he proves incapable of reading a fly ball off the bat (watch Willy in CF for a while to see the definition of incapable of reading a fly ball off the bat) then maybe it fails and one is moved, but I try to get both the high level relativley cheap bats in the line-up togther first. The Reds don't have an impact bat in the minors besides Alonso. Heisey, Frazier, etc. may be capable and cost effective, but they're not the impact guy Alonso projects to be.

Kingspoint
07-09-2009, 06:39 PM
My opinion which does not count for much is that Alonso stays and Joey moves to LF why? Because as we see the Reds will never put more that 80 million into payroll plain and simple if they can get a good young cheap run producing machine like I see Alonso becoming then they will hold onto him as long as they can and then flip him for a host of cheap prospects down the road. He will have far more value after playing four years in the bigs than just trading him as part of a package to acquire someone else. It just makes more sense and whatever you say about Jock he is not stupid. Sure he would trade him for a Mcgwire type of bat but there are none of those on the horizon. So he stays until he can no longer be affordable.

I can't see it any other way, and I don't think Jockety drafted him for any other reason than for what you outline here. Alonso is an RBI-machine. You have to get him in this lineup with these pitchers. He, Votto, and Bruce will be a murderers row, though you'll have to stick one right-handed bat in there somewhere.

Mario-Rijo
07-09-2009, 11:18 PM
Can't play the position and he's not even a good minor leaguer if he has to play anywhere else.

I agree with Doug on Mes. It seems Mes has taken major strides this year defensively. And if I might add he is again at a level higher than he should be. They are rushing him through levels and despite that fact he is making significant strides. IMO in this case it is far too early to have any real opinion one way or another. Now would I give him the same benefit of the doubt had he been a 19th rounder? Probably not, there is no expectation of a guy drafted that far down having the neccessary talent/skillset to ever make it perse'. So far given the circumstances he has performed well enough to even consider giving up an iota yet.

Scrap Irony
07-09-2009, 11:29 PM
He's hitting .215 with an OPS of 670. He also has six error as a catcher and a CS% of 28%.

I hope he is learning how to catch and throw out runners that steal against him. I hope he is hitting well with runners on second and less than 2 outs in day games after twi-night doubleheaders, or whatever.

But the facts remain that Mesoraco has strugged a great deal both offensively and defensively. 215/315/357/691 is no way to get to the majors for anyone.

dougdirt
07-10-2009, 12:22 AM
He's hitting .215 with an OPS of 670. He also has six error as a catcher and a CS% of 28%.

I hope he is learning how to catch and throw out runners that steal against him. I hope he is hitting well with runners on second and less than 2 outs in day games after twi-night doubleheaders, or whatever.

But the facts remain that Mesoraco has strugged a great deal both offensively and defensively. 215/315/357/691 is no way to get to the majors for anyone.

He is also hitting in the FSL, walking a lot and hitting plenty of line drives with a little bit of power.

As for the defense, all reports on him behind the plate are very good. As for his CS%..... he started off this season 2 for 32. Since then he is 17 for 35 on attempted base stealers (Thats 49%). I don't mean to say this to toot my own horn, but I have been saying since last year that his arm is fine and his mechanics throwing wise were fine but his footwork was slower than you would want because he is trying to be perfect rather than just 'catch and throw'. Maybe he finally got to the point where he is 'catching and throwing' rather than catching, thinking about setting up his feet perfectly and then throwing. Something certainly changed in mid to late May because he went from throwing out guys as fast as me to throwing out just about anyone in the league.

As for the errors....
Here are the error totals for the top 10 catchers in the league sorted by AB's:
Austin Romine - 6 - 323 chances
Devin Mesoraco - 6 - 400 chances
Francisco Pena - 5 - 478 chances
Miguel Fermin - 6 - 513 chances
Jesus Montero - 2 (universally seen as a non catcher who they let wear the gear) - 158 chances
Joel Naughton - 7 - 339 chances
Robinson Chirinos - 5 - 344 chances
Jonathan Jaspe - 6 - 327 chances
Martin Maldonado - 3 - 453 chances
Jason Bour - 2 - 143 chances
Jordan Newton - 0 - 230 chances

Looks like Devin is right on target with the rest of the leagues catchers. I think you are seeing something that isn't there.

Homer Bailey
07-10-2009, 01:06 AM
He is also hitting in the FSL, walking a lot and hitting plenty of line drives with a little bit of power.

As for the defense, all reports on him behind the plate are very good. As for his CS%..... he started off this season 2 for 32. Since then he is 17 for 35 on attempted base stealers (Thats 49%). I don't mean to say this to toot my own horn, but I have been saying since last year that his arm is fine and his mechanics throwing wise were fine but his footwork was slower than you would want because he is trying to be perfect rather than just 'catch and throw'. Maybe he finally got to the point where he is 'catching and throwing' rather than catching, thinking about setting up his feet perfectly and then throwing. Something certainly changed in mid to late May because he went from throwing out guys as fast as me to throwing out just about anyone in the league.

As for the errors....
Here are the error totals for the top 10 catchers in the league sorted by AB's:
Austin Romine - 6 - 323 chances
Devin Mesoraco - 6 - 400 chances
Francisco Pena - 5 - 478 chances
Miguel Fermin - 6 - 513 chances
Jesus Montero - 2 (universally seen as a non catcher who they let wear the gear) - 158 chances
Joel Naughton - 7 - 339 chances
Robinson Chirinos - 5 - 344 chances
Jonathan Jaspe - 6 - 327 chances
Martin Maldonado - 3 - 453 chances
Jason Bour - 2 - 143 chances
Jordan Newton - 0 - 230 chances

Looks like Devin is right on target with the rest of the leagues catchers. I think you are seeing something that isn't there.


Doug fought the tough fight for Stubbs as well, and I think he has been pretty spot on with Stubbs. I never thought DS would make it as far as he has, to the point where he is knocking down the door (with Heisey) for a call up.

I'm as low on DM as I was DS, but I will take doug at his word that he has seen significant improvement from DM, and hopefully he will reach his potential.

HBP
07-10-2009, 09:17 AM
A difference with Stubbs and Mesoraco is that Stubbs put up some very impressive numbers while at Texas, so we had seen at least some production out of him. We've never seen Mesoraco ever put up any eye popping stats to help us figure out why he was a 1st rounder like Bailey, Bruce, Stubbs, Alonso, and Leake have. I hope he makes it eventually, I just don't see a great chance of that happening right now.

camisadelgolf
07-10-2009, 09:26 AM
Going from the MWL to the FSL is one of the biggest transitions in the minors. If Mesoraco were OPSing ~.800 for Dayton, many of us would wonder what he has to do to get a promotion and dub him the Reds' catcher of the future. As many have already said, it's just way too early to make a judgment.

Benihana
07-10-2009, 09:27 AM
Doug fought the tough fight for Stubbs as well, and I think he has been pretty spot on with Stubbs. I never thought DS would make it as far as he has, to the point where he is knocking down the door (with Heisey) for a call up.

I'm as low on DM as I was DS, but I will take doug at his word that he has seen significant improvement from DM, and hopefully he will reach his potential.

He also "fought the tough fight" for Adam Rosales, Sean Watson and just about every other minor leaguer that the Reds have ever drafted since he's been old enough to remember. Not trying to knock Doug specifically, but no one is always right- blind trust won't get you very far in baseball or in life. There is at least one other actual professional on this board that has repeatedly stated that many professionals both inside and outside the organization think that Mesoraco was an enormous mistake.

Obviously, I'm as hard on Mesoraco as anyone, but I've also gone on record predicting (read: hoping for) a big month out of him. It remains to be seen whether he can fulfill that prediction (it was more of a random one than anything), but like I said in the initial post of this thread, time for Mesoraco as a "Top Prospect" is running out- not because of his age or level but due to his complete lack of production. If he was drafted even one round later than he was, he wouldn't be on anyone's prospect radar at this point. Sure he could still make the majors one day- the timetable on catchers is longer than any other position- but unless he starts hitting much more than he has at any point in his professional career, he cannot continue to be considered a "Top Prospect." His draft pedigree can only carry him so far.

As for comparing his errors to other catchers in the league, how many of those catchers have yet to OPS over .710 in their professional careers? How many of them were drafted as high as Mesoraco? Since when is errors the best indication (and forecast) of catching defense? And finally, why in the world should we be happy if Mesoraco is an average catcher in the Florida State League?

I don't know about your expectations, but I don't like seeing my first round pick two years removed as an average to below average player relative to others at his position in A ball. If Mesoraco cannot pull his OPS at least over the .750 mark for the year or suddenly become the best defensive catcher in the league, he can no longer be considered a "Top Prospect" IMO.

lollipopcurve
07-10-2009, 09:48 AM
I don't know about your expectations, but I don't like seeing my first round pick two years removed as an average to below average player relative to others at his position in A ball. If Mesoraco cannot pull his OPS at least over the .750 mark for the year or suddenly become the best defensive catcher in the league, he can no longer be considered a "Top Prospect."

At some point, you have to let go of the enormous expectations that fall disproportionately on 1st round picks and scale back on the proclamations, pro and con. These players are who they are, and what becomes of them takes several years to reveal. We know far more about Stubbs now then we did 2 years ago. He looks to be somewhere in between the poles of the debate that defined him on this board. We know far more about Bailey than we did 6 months ago. He appears to be well ahead of where most of this board would have charted him. We know far more about Bruce now than we did 1 year ago. He appears to be well behind where the majority of the board would have guessed he'd be now. Are these guys "what you want" out of a 1st rounder? What's the template? I'd say there is none, and so long as you get something out of your top pick, you can't get bent out of shape.

Mesoraco has time, no matter what. What he ends up being is not going to be fully apparent for years, and it has nothing to do with what round he was drafted in.

Benihana
07-10-2009, 10:00 AM
At some point, you have to let go of the enormous expectations that fall disproportionately on 1st round picks and scale back on the proclamations, pro and con. These players are who they are, and what becomes of them takes several years to reveal. We know far more about Stubbs now then we did 2 years ago. He looks to be somewhere in between the poles of the debate that defined him on this board. We know far more about Bailey than we did 6 months ago. He appears to be well ahead of where most of this board would have charted him. We know far more about Bruce now than we did 1 year ago. He appears to be well behind where the majority of the board would have guessed he'd be now. Are these guys "what you want" out of a 1st rounder? What's the template? I'd say there is none, and so long as you get something out of your top pick, you can't get bent out of shape.

Mesoraco has time, no matter what. What he ends up being is not going to be fully apparent for years, and it has nothing to do with what round he was drafted in.

I don't disagree.

However, a big part of this forum is "prospecting" these guys as they progress. Otherwise, you could stop paying attention to anything that happens at the minor league levels and just wait to see who shows up in Cincinnati in five years and who doesn't (much like what was done years ago before the internet/information age took over and allowed fans to follow this stuff.)

Are these things dynamic? Absolutely. Could D-Mes become a starting catcher in the major leagues one day? No question about it. However, are we happy with his development so far? I don't know about you, but I'm disappointed. That's not to say that things can't change, but if I had to evaluate him as it stands right now (which is the point of this thread), I'd rate him as "Underperforming." That said, I certainly hope he repeats Sarasota next year and "Outperforms" his new set of expectations, which includes outperforming Kevin Coddington- who has emerged as an interesting comparable to follow.

lollipopcurve
07-10-2009, 10:05 AM
However, a big part of this forum is "prospecting" these guys as they progress. Otherwise, you could stop paying attention to anything that happens at the minor league levels and just wait to see who shows up in Cincinnati in five years and who doesn't (much like what was done years ago before the internet/information age took over and allowed fans to follow this stuff.)

Are these things dynamic? Absolutely. Could D-Mes become a starting catcher in the major leagues one day? No question about it. However, are we happy with his development so far? I don't know about you, but I'm disappointed. That's not to say that things can't change, but if I had to evaluate him as it stands right now (which is the point of this thread), I'd rate him as "Underperforming." That said, I certainly hope he repeats Sarasota next year and "Outperforms" his new set of expectations, including outperforming Kevin Coddington, who has become an interesting comparable to follow.

Absolutely. That's well said. I think my point is that at some point it becomes more interesting to evaluate what the player is actually doing than to take sides in a "bust or not?" context. People take a long time to "get over" their excitement or disappointment in a particular player being chosen first. Once that happens, you start to be able to see the player more clearly.

Plus Plus
07-10-2009, 10:40 AM
I agree Find room for impact bats. If Votto was built like Howard or Fielder it might be different, but he's young, fit and mobile. If he proves incapable of reading a fly ball off the bat (watch Willy in CF for a while to see the definition of incapable of reading a fly ball off the bat) then maybe it fails and one is moved, but I try to get both the high level relativley cheap bats in the line-up togther first. The Reds don't have an impact bat in the minors besides Alonso. Heisey, Frazier, etc. may be capable and cost effective, but they're not the impact guy Alonso projects to be.

Votto seems to have decent range at 1b- could he play 3b once Alonso gets called up to the big leagues (barring a trade)? I dont know that he could possibly be worse than Encarnacion defensively, and his bat would for sure play at 3b.

Benihana
07-10-2009, 10:42 AM
Votto seems to have decent range at 1b- could he play 3b once Alonso gets called up to the big leagues (barring a trade)? I dont know that he could possibly be worse than Encarnacion defensively, and his bat would for sure play at 3b.

I've actually thought about that possibility. Votto was actually drafted as a C/3B, but I'm sure there was a reason he was moved to 1B...

bucksfan2
07-10-2009, 10:50 AM
I don't disagree.

However, a big part of this forum is "prospecting" these guys as they progress. Otherwise, you could stop paying attention to anything that happens at the minor league levels and just wait to see who shows up in Cincinnati in five years and who doesn't (much like what was done years ago before the internet/information age took over and allowed fans to follow this stuff.)

Are these things dynamic? Absolutely. Could D-Mes become a starting catcher in the major leagues one day? No question about it. However, are we happy with his development so far? I don't know about you, but I'm disappointed. That's not to say that things can't change, but if I had to evaluate him as it stands right now (which is the point of this thread), I'd rate him as "Underperforming." That said, I certainly hope he repeats Sarasota next year and "Outperforms" his new set of expectations, which includes outperforming Kevin Coddington- who has emerged as an interesting comparable to follow.

I think it all depends on what you expectation for D-Mes (I like that) are. D-Mes was a HS catcher drafted from a small town northern (Puxatony) city. Throw in that he was coming off surgery (TJ I believe) and you have a huge prospect. I don't remember a lot of people saying he was drafted way too high and was a later round prospect. I think most admit that he may have been a reach, but IIRC he was a fast riser coming into the draft.

Everything I mention leads me to believe that he had all the raw tools to become a very good catcher, but was on track for a long developmental process. D-Mes is the kind of prospect that I won't rank but won't give up on. If he would have gone the college route next year would have been his Jr. year. After this season you may get a little more information about how he projects as a catcher but I am still going to hold off judgment until next season at the earliest.

dougdirt
07-10-2009, 02:05 PM
Here is what I see with Mesoraco in my scouting report (I keep files and notes on just about every prospect we have.... tons of stuff on these guys).

Hitting
Mesoraco shows the secondary skills he needs to have success, especially as a catcher. He has solid plate discipline at a young age, although a little more contact would be ideal. He has some pop in his bat thats going to start showing up in the next year in the HR department.

Physical
This year he has a much different body than he did last year. While there was a comment floating around that he was 'pudgy' or something like that, he wasn't. Still, he had a body of a big teenager and not exactly a man's body. He grew a little bit this offseason and has himself a man's body now. He has good feet and quick hands, but is still learning to use them behind the plate. Big strides have been made.

Catching
Like noted above, he has the hands and the feet to be an above average catcher. It has taken a while longer than expected to see the results that his HS scouting report suggested he was, but it looks like we may be reaching that time table where its here. He not only is blocking pitches in the dirt these days, he is catching them and backhanding them. He is also throwing out runners at an extremely high rate over the past two months. Time will tell if that holds up, but its certainly something that has gone from a poor skill to a very good one in short order.

Thats where my current scouting report on Mesoraco sits at. I think sometimes we forget just how difficult it is to be a catcher, much less at age 20 (just turned 21 2 weeks ago).

BTW, Minor League Splits has this little tool called 'luck factor' that 'corrects' a players numbers based on his batted ball types. Clicking it on Mesoraco suggests he should be at .268/.359/.422.

HBP
07-10-2009, 04:01 PM
Lets hope your right Doug. The good news is that he has plenty of games left this season to put up some better numbers.

dougdirt
07-10-2009, 04:05 PM
Lets hope your right Doug. The good news is that he has plenty of games left this season to put up some better numbers.

I am not concerned with the numbers anyone doesn't put up in the FSL as long as their peripherals look solid. His do.

redsmetz
07-10-2009, 04:32 PM
I am not concerned with the numbers anyone doesn't put up in the FSL as long as their peripherals look solid. His do.

Doug, I have to say I appreciate your thorough assessments. They always seem fairly even handed and look at plusses and minuses. Like anyone, you have particular players that you like, but I think you have given a good assessment of where Mesocraco currently is.

Kingspoint
07-10-2009, 08:33 PM
Catchers don't "fly" through the minor leagues. It takes much longer to develop them. As raw as Mesoraco was, you can add another year to that.

There's no shame or negativitly for Mesoraco to take 6 full seasons in the Minors and still be considered to be on pace for the Majors and for the REDS to be justified to have drafted him in the 1st Round. I don't see him going to AAA until 2012 at the earliest and the Majors until 2013 at the earliest, and that would be the timeline that I would have had for him the day I drafted him.

He's performing exactly as what would have been projected of him. Look at him month-by-month, not year-by-year and you'll see a lot of growth.

Mario-Rijo
07-13-2009, 12:20 AM
I think it all depends on what you expectation for D-Mes (I like that) are. D-Mes was a HS catcher drafted from a small town northern (Puxatony) city. Throw in that he was coming off surgery (TJ I believe) and you have a huge prospect. I don't remember a lot of people saying he was drafted way too high and was a later round prospect. I think most admit that he may have been a reach, but IIRC he was a fast riser coming into the draft.

Everything I mention leads me to believe that he had all the raw tools to become a very good catcher, but was on track for a long developmental process. D-Mes is the kind of prospect that I won't rank but won't give up on. If he would have gone the college route next year would have been his Jr. year. After this season you may get a little more information about how he projects as a catcher but I am still going to hold off judgment until next season at the earliest.

I think this is a part of the equation that people seem to forget when talking about his particular development. As we all know kids playing in the north have much less developmental time due to the fact they don't have the luxury of playing year around what with the weather factor. Then you get a kid who lost at least an entire year of HS (if not more) with a serious injury. Yet he still manages to play well enough in his senior year to garner enough attention to get drafted in the 1st round of the draft on his talent level alone.

So then he comes straight into pro ball vastly behind the curve developmentally, plays with 2 injured thumbs and does poorly and we are surprised by that?! Then skips an entire level that he obviously needed and held his own offensively IMO for a catcher who again shouldn't be at that level. Comes into this season and gets to work improving his defense and his plate discipline might I add by leaps and bounds at yet again another level he shouldn't quite be at and in an environment that supresses offense & some are questioning if he will be a bust?

Please people those are not excuses but extremely legitimate reasons why anyone would struggle to put up gargantuan numbers. When you are behind the curve from the start, challenged more than any prospect in recent memory at a position that is notoriously slow developmentally and you are still making positive strides. I'd say for the circumstances he is doing an excellent job of developing. IMO what we have here is a starting catcher in the making and I have yet to see any reasonable argument to the contrary.

mace
07-13-2009, 10:44 AM
I think this is a part of the equation that people seem to forget when talking about his particular development. As we all know kids playing in the north have much less developmental time due to the fact they don't have the luxury of playing year around what with the weather factor. Then you get a kid who lost at least an entire year of HS (if not more) with a serious injury. Yet he still manages to play well enough in his senior year to garner enough attention to get drafted in the 1st round of the draft on his talent level alone.

So then he comes straight into pro ball vastly behind the curve developmentally, plays with 2 injured thumbs and does poorly and we are surprised by that?! Then skips an entire level that he obviously needed and held his own offensively IMO for a catcher who again shouldn't be at that level. Comes into this season and gets to work improving his defense and his plate discipline might I add by leaps and bounds at yet again another level he shouldn't quite be at and in an environment that supresses offense & some are questioning if he will be a bust?

Please people those are not excuses but extremely legitimate reasons why anyone would struggle to put up gargantuan numbers. When you are behind the curve from the start, challenged more than any prospect in recent memory at a position that is notoriously slow developmentally and you are still making positive strides. I'd say for the circumstances he is doing an excellent job of developing. IMO what we have here is a starting catcher in the making and I have yet to see any reasonable argument to the contrary.

You make some excellent points here, M-R. I haven't considered Mesoraco among the top prospects in the organization, but your argument provides a reason to rethink that.

HBP
07-13-2009, 11:01 AM
I am not concerned with the numbers anyone doesn't put up in the FSL as long as their peripherals look solid. His do.

I for one am and I bet the Reds aren't so enamored with his performance thus far either.



Please people those are not excuses but extremely legitimate reasons why anyone would struggle to put up gargantuan numbers.

I don't think anyone is expecting huge numbers, just looking for anything to show he's improving with the bat.

Benihana
07-13-2009, 11:09 AM
I for one am and I bet the Reds aren't so enamored with his performance thus far either.



I don't think anyone is expecting huge numbers, just looking for anything to show he's improving with the bat.

x 2.

I find these arguments pretty ridiculous. On the one hand, some people are arguing to stop worrying about whether he's a bust and attaching unfair expectations to him because of where he was drafted. On the other, people are defending his performance, showing confidence in him only because of where he was drafted.

All you have to do is ask yourself this: if he wasn't a first round pick, would his performance thus far (including all the "improvements" you speak of) put him on anyone's prospect radar? I think not.

camisadelgolf
07-13-2009, 11:21 AM
x 2.

I find these arguments pretty ridiculous. On the one hand, some people are arguing to stop worrying about whether he's a bust and attaching unfair expectations to him because of where he was drafted. On the other, people are defending his performance, showing confidence in him only because of where he was drafted.

All you have to do is ask yourself this: if he wasn't a first round pick, would his performance thus far (including all the "improvements" you speak of) put him on anyone's prospect radar? I think not.
Drew Stubbs might be this forum's favorite minor leaguer if he weren't drafted in the first round. He plays exceptional defense, gets on base at a high rate, and steals bases very effectively. Even if Chris Heisey were drafted in the first round, people would find ways to be disappointed with the pick so far.

Benihana
07-13-2009, 11:29 AM
Drew Stubbs might be this forum's favorite minor leaguer if he weren't drafted in the first round. He plays exceptional defense, gets on base at a high rate, and steals bases very effectively.

Disagree. I don't see much pining for Felix Pie around these parts. He does pretty much all of those things you said, slugs significantly better, and entered the majors three years younger than what Stubbs is now.


Even if Chris Heisey were drafted in the first round, people would find ways to be disappointed with the pick so far.

Also disagree. This year, Heisey is putting up better numbers than Jay Bruce did in the minors. True, he is a few years older than Bruce was, but I don't recall many people finding ways to be disappointed with Bruce (who was a first round pick) when he was discussed down in this forum.

--

However, it is true that most people judge prospects based off of where they were drafted. And my point is that right now, Mesoraco looks disappointing whether you do (he has underperformed as a first round pick) or you don't (he wouldn't be considered a serious prospect with his current production if not for his draft status.)

dougdirt
07-13-2009, 12:15 PM
On the other, people are defending his performance, showing confidence in him only because of where he was drafted.

All you have to do is ask yourself this: if he wasn't a first round pick, would his performance thus far (including all the "improvements" you speak of) put him on anyone's prospect radar? I think not.

If he wasn't a first rounder but still had the same tools he does have? Then yes, he would be on peoples radar. I am not sure there has been anyone defending his performance because he was a first rounder. I think its because, at least in my case, he has shown strong secondary skills at the plate that are likely to move forward with him. As for his defensive improvements, I think they largely speak for themselves.

Benihana
07-13-2009, 12:19 PM
If he wasn't a first rounder but still had the same tools he does have? Then yes, he would be on peoples radar. I am not sure there has been anyone defending his performance because he was a first rounder. I think its because, at least in my case, he has shown strong secondary skills at the plate that are likely to move forward with him. As for his defensive improvements, I think they largely speak for themselves.

I'm not sure scouts all over baseball are currently drooling over Mesoraco's "tools."

camisadelgolf
07-13-2009, 12:21 PM
Disagree. I don't see much pining for Felix Pie around these parts. He does pretty much all of those things you said, slugs significantly better, and entered the majors three years younger than what Stubbs is now.
Why would we pine for Pie when we already have Stubbs (and Heisey)? Stubbs is a much better defender, runs the bases much better, and gets on base more. True, he slugs less, but he compensates for that with other parts of his game. And remember when catching was a glaring weakness for the Reds? Around that time, people wouldn't shut up about Taylor Teagarden.

Also disagree. This year, Heisey is putting up better numbers than Jay Bruce did in the minors. True, he is a few years older than Bruce was, but I don't recall many people finding ways to be disappointed with Bruce (who was a first round pick) when he was discussed down in this forum.
Okay, that's a very good point. I should have said that some people have a bias against Stubbs because he's not the player RZ wanted to be drafted in draft slot.

However, it is true that most people judge prospects based off of where they were drafted. And my point is that right now, Mesoraco looks disappointing whether you do (he has underperformed as a first round pick) or you don't (he wouldn't be considered a serious prospect with his current production if not for his draft status.)
I agree for the most part. I think Mesoraco'd still be a serious prospect, but he'd be a bit of a dark horse.

dougdirt
07-13-2009, 12:24 PM
I'm not sure scouts all over baseball are currently drooling over Mesoraco's "tools."

Drooling over them? No. He isn't Matt Wieters, Buster Posey or Carlos Santana. He has good tools though, especially as a catcher. He has some pop although some remains in the raw power department. He has a good arm. He has soft hands behind the plate. He has good feet.

Benihana
07-13-2009, 01:33 PM
Drooling over them? No. He isn't Matt Wieters, Buster Posey or Carlos Santana.

Or Jason Castro.
Or JP Arenciba.
Or Jeff Clement.
Or Hank Conger.
Or Brandon Snyder.
Or just about any of the other catchers drafted in the first round in the last 5 years.

In fact, in looking at all of the catchers drafted in the first round since 2005, only Maxwell Sapp has put up as dismal of a career performance as Mesoraco has at his age- and Sapp is still a few months younger. But, oh, those tools!


OK, I'm done ripping Devin. I hope he kills it the rest of this season, and pulls a Travis Wood when he repeats the league next year. All I'm saying is that until he gives me a reason to keep him on The Top 15 Prospects list for the Reds organization, his production (or lack of it) has him in grave danger of falling off the list. My list (and others like it) combines ceiling with likelihood (and proximity) of reaching that ceiling in order to prioritize and rank payers. At this stage in the game, Mesoraco's combination of those attributes leaves a lot to be desired. That said, he definitely does have plenty of time to correct that before he falls into the organizational fodder category.

dougdirt
07-13-2009, 03:12 PM
Or Jason Castro.
Or JP Arenciba.
Or Jeff Clement.
Or Hank Conger.
Or Brandon Snyder.
Or just about any of the other catchers drafted in the first round in the last 5 years.
Jason Castro is a top 50 prospect in all of baseball. I don't think anyone is suggesting Devin is on that level at all, especially right now.

Arencibia may have some tools but he is Juan Francisco with a little more contact and not nearly as much power. He may be able to get away with a sub .300 OBP because he is a catcher but lets not put him on some high level like he is something special. He can hit the ball a mile when he gets into one, but he has the plate approach of Juan Francisco without the power. Defensively he isn't any better than Mesoraco is, the difference is that Mesoraco has gotten a lot better while Arencibia has stayed about the same defensively for the last 2+ years.

Jeff Clement is an interesting case. He hits the cover off the ball in the minors but has really struggled in the majors. Defensively I am not sure he is better than Mesoraco is either.

Hank Conger can hit, but he has never been viewed as a catcher in the past. The stats look good this year though behind the plate. I might have to actually shoot an email to a guy who scouts the TL after this and get a report on him to see if he has truly improved and how much.


Brandon Snyder hasn't caught a single game since 2006. Why is he in this discussion?

The only guy you even named that wasn't a college catcher was Conger. While he may have run for President (real funny video he made, might still be on youtube) he is the only guy you have named so far that is really a comparable guy.

Devin's skillset right now, where are the problems with it? Don't tell me about his numbers that are influenced by luck, tell me about his skills. Tell me that he doesn't do this well enough or he does this ok.


You can talk about performance all you want, but how many times have you seen him play this year? How many people have you talked to who have seen him play this year? You are talking about results, not what has gone into acquiring those results, the skills that he uses on the field. Those are what project forward, not the fact that he has a BABIP under .270 despite a high line drive rate that has sapped his slash line.

Benihana
07-13-2009, 03:19 PM
You can talk about performance all you want, but how many times have you seen him play this year? How many people have you talked to who have seen him play this year? You are talking about results, not what has gone into acquiring those results, the skills that he uses on the field. Those are what project forward, not the fact that he has a BABIP under .270 despite a high line drive rate that has sapped his slash line.

Oh boy.

Isn't this the exact opposite argument to what you made when we discussed Stillwell and Larkin? You claimed that it didn't matter that you weren't old enough to see them play or hear first-hand accounts at the time because you can read their stat lines to know how they were going to project.

I said on my last post that I'm done ripping Devin- at least for the time being, so I'm not going to address your other concerns. I'm rooting (and rooting hard) for the kid, but how he performs going forward remains to be seen. I hope I'm wrong and you're right. There is still plenty of time for him. We will see...

dougdirt
07-13-2009, 03:36 PM
Oh boy.

Isn't this the exact opposite argument to what you made when we discussed Stillwell and Larkin? You claimed that it didn't matter that you weren't old enough to see them play or hear first-hand accounts at the time because you can read their stat lines to know how they were going to project.
I could read their stat lines to determine their skillsets at that time. Stillwell could walk and make very weak contact. His stats suggested that because his IsoP was terrible and his walk rate was good. So no, its not even close to the same thing.

Mesoraco walks plenty. He doesn't have a strikeout problem. He has a solid IsoP. His defense has made great strides in the last year and particularly in the last few months. Those are all skills that can be seen in the secondary stat lines. You aren't looking at those. You are looking at slash lines that are being heavily influenced by a low BABIP despite solid to better peripherals.

Kingspoint
07-13-2009, 06:17 PM
All I'm saying is that until he gives me a reason to keep him on The Top 15 Prospects list for the Reds organization, his production (or lack of it) has him in grave danger of falling off the list. My list (and others like it) combines ceiling with likelihood (and proximity) of reaching that ceiling in order to prioritize and rank payers. At this stage in the game, Mesoraco's combination of those attributes leaves a lot to be desired. That said, he definitely does have plenty of time to correct that before he falls into the organizational fodder category.

That's a fair assessment. When he's ready for the Majors on a daily basis, we won't even recognize the big-league club from what it is now to what it will be then. That is a long time from now.